Sunday, 28 June 2009

The Wave Pictures: Live & On Wax

A real unique edge is hard to come by in UK guitar music at the moment, one you can grasp on to, live or at home, straight away is even rarer. But the Wave Pictures, who will be as familiar as a pair of old Midlands-made slippers to long-time ShadowPlay readers, have that direct quality which can be latched onto within seconds. Perhaps it’s lead singer David Tattersall’s ever lilting vocal, or maybe his off-the-cuff lyrics (I cut my hair and you grew yours/there always has to be the same amount of hair in the world) are the key, but it’s as likely to be Franic’s basslines or the ever-impressive supporting vocal from drummer Jonny Helm are the irresistible element.

On new record, If You Leave It Alone, the prolific trio step up their style a little, opting for their high tempos and cheeky guitar solos more often than not. The title track opens the album with vigour and finesse, setting the listener up for the bizarre and meticulous imagery to come, elsewhere Your Bed Hung off the Wall and Too Many Questions also display the kind of harmonising that sounds like the Beach Boys if they’d put down the Beano and picked up Razzle. Live, they’re such a perfect proposition, full of self-effacing modesty, but also a cheeky confidence borne from hundreds of shows to increasing adoration and success. At the Lexington last month the band show off material from the new album, already know to much of the hardcore audience in attendance at the fantastically booze north London pub. Choruses, and more importantly certain marmalade-y verses, are bellowed back, pins are dropped and heard when silence is needed and, most importantly, the Wave Pictures are treated as the treasures they so clearly are.

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